Italian Cultural Institute of Los Angeles
Located on a tree-lined avenue in Westwood Village, the Italian Cultural Institute is a wonderful resource for those looking to appreciate Italian culture, learn the beautiful language, or simply experience more of the Italian community in Los Angeles. In addition to offering highly praised language courses with small class sizes and engaging educators, the ICI hosts exhibits and events such as film screenings and concerts to celebrate Italian artists. The Institute is part of an initiative by the Italian government to bring the best that Italian culture has to offer to the United States, and many would argue that this initiative is a success.
The Getty Villa – Best Italian Art
Modeled after an ancient Roman country house, this relative of the Getty Center transports you to the Italian countryside upon entering the premises. With elaborate landscaping, water lily ponds, and bubbling fountains, the Getty Villa offers an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city without venturing further than Pacific Palisades. Whether you’re stopping by on a drive up the Pacific Coast Highway or looking to spend the entire day absorbing ancient culture, it is worth the trip. The museum features Greek, Roman, and Etruscan antiquities and a large library of art books, as well as jewelry and coin collections.
The Getty Villa, 17985 Pacific Coast Hwy, Pacific Palisades, CA, USA, +1 310 440 7300
Gelateria Uli – Best Gelato
This Downtown spot takes their gelato very serious. Made in small batches every day, Gelateria Uli does not shy away from experimenting with new flavors – they even have a forum on their website inviting patrons to suggest flavors and vote on them. If your flavor is chosen and ends up in the display case, you win a pint of your flavor, which truly engages the patrons. Some of Uli’s most intriguing flavors include yellow corn, rosemary toasted hazelnuts, and Thai iced tea. They do, of course, stay loyal to traditional flavors like stracciatella and amaretto.
Flavor Selection | Courtesy of Gelateria Uli | © Courtest of Gelateria Uli
Los Angeles Virtuosi Orchestra – Best Italian Music
In 2013, Los Angeles gained the Virtuosi Orchestra, a non-profit organization and 22-string orchestra that is dedicated to advocating for and supporting music education. The orchestra was founded by Carlo Ponti, Jr., who now serves as the music and artistic director and is also the son of Italian movie star Sophia Loren. The LAV debuted in 2014 at the Napa Valley Festival del Sole and has garnered acclaim ever since. In a superb demonstration of its dedication to music education, the LAV has partnered with three grade schools in the Los Angeles area to enhance their music programs.
LAV, 8383 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 500, Beverly Hills, CA, USA, +1 310 659 8799
Caffé Roma Ristorante – Best Espresso
While also an upscale eatery, Caffé Roma is a great place to enjoy an afternoon espresso or latte and take a moment to relax on the patio. Caffé Roma attracts a lively European crowd and is always packed at night, offering live music and a happy hour menu. Regulars flock to this restaurant for the great food, but the ambiance and people-watching opportunities certainly enhance the experience. Their menu includes a selection of traditional pizzas, as well as pastas like spaghetti cacio e pepe and popular meat dishes like the pollo Milanese.
310 274 7834
C&O Trattoria – Best Beachside Italian
A staple restaurant, C&O Trattoria is a casual eatery steps away from Venice Beach. The garlic knots have a reputation of their own – they are generously served right when you sit down, and waiters continue to circle the restaurant refilling your plate with buttery, garlic bread balls. While C&O offers a unique beachside dining experience, their large portions and innumerable pasta dishes will keep you coming back. Some favorite pasta dishes include the pappardelle with short ribs and the four cheese ravioli with a pesto cream sauce. Their eggplant parmesan and chicken marsala are delicious, but be sure to try the pasta as well.